Last updateSat, 28 Mar 2020 1pm


Skepticism of the Media

Skepticism of MediaIn recent years, the American public has become increasingly skeptical of the media.

“Since the 2016 election skepticism of the media has been heightened, primarily because we see our president saying there is ‘fake news’ everywhere,” said Brittany Macaluso, Social Work major.

Macaluso believes that while his accusations are directed towards a specific platform, media consumers should be weary of all platforms because this statement is coming from the President.

However, these statements from Trump tend to arise when he is portrayed in a negative light by the media. It begs the question, does President Trump use the slogan “fake news” as a means of invalidating journalists, when they report on governmental wrongdoing?

The answer is most likely yes. The responsibility of journalists is to inform the public by being “watchdogs” of the government. The government is unable to censor the press as it would directly violate the first amendment. The constitution explicitly states: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” (U.S. Const., amend. I, 1791). The phrase “fake news,” is the only ammunition Trump has to discredit the media.

The self-regulating structure of the press, following ethics established by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), is how the media maintains an effective relationship of checks and balances with the government. Ideally, this would ensure journalists’ ability to produce the truth.

Unfortunately, the press is not always able to regulate themselves. Modern news is often funded by private institutions, which have agendas that don’t necessarily hold with ethical journalism. Instead, journalists can be forced to produce biased news to the benefit of their parent corporations, who are driven by economic interests.

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Music Festivals: Camping, Dancing, and Jamming Out

Music FestivalsEver been to a music festival? How about one where you camp out and escape reality for the weekend?

A lot of people are opposed to this idea, but they wouldn’t be if they gave it a chance. Camping festivals are a great way to step outside your comfort zone. Doesn’t it sound good to take a vacation from daily stressors and responsibilities?

Replace those things with live music, positive energy, and a life changing experience. Once you’re there, you’ll realize it’s more than just a music festival, it becomes a means of self-discovery.

I’ve experienced a few of these festivals myself and I would encourage anyone to give them a try. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a huge camping person and the thought of being outdoors for a few days straight overwhelms you: it’s worth it. Those doubts will be the last thing on your mind. For the duration of the festival, you will expose yourself to pure happiness and peaceful people who are enjoying themselves.

In an article I recently read, titled “The Impact of Music Festival Attendance on Young People’s Psychological and Social Wellbeing,” author Jan Packer stated, “Music theorists suggest that active participation in music festivals contributes to identity development by providing a medium for self-expression, mood enhancement and spiritual functions terms and symbols for self-identity, and opportunities to create individual, virtual worlds.”

After leaving a music festival, you are on an absolute high. You will feel like you just met yourself for the first time. My reason for saying this is because it is a safe environment to express your individuality and be shown appreciation for it.

People don’t discriminate for the color of your skin, the outfit you are wearing, or the way that you dance. You enter a zone where you are encouraged to be your wildest self and to embrace the unique elements you were given.

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Uncharted Territory: Women in Male-Dominated Sports Positions

Uncharted TerritoryA woman announcing a National Football League (NFL) game? This is undoubtedly what most people thought around the country during a Monday night football game this season. Hearing the voice of a female announcer was and is still very new in the sports world, especially in male dominated sports. It is not just announcing, but refereeing as well.

Any position in the male-dominated sports arena is tough for a woman to overcome, both from professional critics and the fan base that the sport entails. Society assumes that male sports will be left to males and female sports will be left to females. Once this boundary is crossed, criticism is often followed. This article will explore why crossing this boundary is “taboo” and the problems females face when they chose to explore this uncharted territory.

The dangers of crossing this norm can be explained by looking at the early life of men and women. It goes back hundreds of years when we first began to form gender norms. Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett explained how these norms formed in their book Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs (2005).

Barnett and Rivers stated, “Males are the aggressive sex and females the docile sex… Man the hunter has become firmly lodged in our imagination.”

Ever since this belief was formed it has followed society through the present day. It is no surprise that a female announcer would be seen as weak, or as Rivers and Rosalind said, “docile.” The anti-feminine norm rejects anything perceived as feminine. Likewise, masculinity norms is intellectual success, toughness, and aggression. What better ways are these norms perceived then in male dominated sports.

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10 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year

10 Things New YearHow much stress are you carrying around? Do you feel burdened by life’s circumstances and emotional issues? Is school work, projects and studying sending you over the edge?

The key to becoming happier and more grounded begins with letting go. Letting go of worry and stress is something I have tried to do more in my own life, as I continue a journey of overcoming obstacles and personal challenges. Emotionally, physically and spiritually, I am learning to let go of a lot of things to become the person I am, and the person I want to be. Letting go can be scary, but it is an amazing act of self-love that can sometimes be overlooked.

We may find ourselves reaching a breaking point. Some days don’t go the way we plan, and many things don’t work out in our favor. We know that the next person we encounter, just might feel the wrath of our anger and frustration.

Letting go of my worries and stress has made a difference for me; of course, I still have moments filled with stressfulness, but in an ever-changing world, what else can I possibly expect? Every time I catch myself entering a bout of stress-induced irritability, I take a deep breath and do my best to let it GO. Today, I encourage you to do the same.

Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you will ever be again. It’s kind of a scary thought, but it’s true. If there was ever a perfect day to start letting go of the needless drama and stress that’s been holding you back, that day is today. And since we often use the New Year as a starting point to refresh our personal growth and goal setting, I challenge you this:

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Vegan: You Probably Know One

default article imageWhat do you think of when you hear the word “vegan?” Do you think of gross food? Do you think of hipsters? Do you think of animal rights? Do you think of people giving you a hard time for your lifestyle choices? Do you think of people who can’t go five minutes without telling everyone in the room that they are vegan?

You most likely have heard all of these stereotypes, but how many people do you know who are actually vegan? What are their lifestyles like? And what does it even really mean to be “vegan?” Although I am not a vegan, I will be the one talking your ear off today about what exactly veganism is all about.

The idea of veganism has been around since 1944, but recently has become popular with grocery stores carrying more vegan items and celebrities even taking part in the way of life. According to Heath Line, a vegan lifestyle includes, “attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it for food, clothing or any other purpose.” While vegetarianism is just a diet, veganism differs because it involves excluding all products that are animal-based. People oftentimes go vegan for a variety of different reasons, such as health and ethical concerns, or their religion’s values.

Personally, I have considered going vegan. I wanted to try out the lifestyle because I thought it would allow me to have a healthier, plant-based diet. Realistically, though, I did not get the chance to go vegan because it would not work for me. Since I am already gluten free due to a gluten intolerance, meat comprises a big part of my diet. Excluding animal products from my diet would restrict it a lot more and it would be hard to adjust to. In addition, it would be difficult for me to practice veganism in between classes and work and just always being on the run. I would have to dedicate time to transition to the lifestyle that I just don’t have right now.

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$teep Mountains, $teeper Prices

Steep MountainsThe other day as I was browsing the website for Magic Mountain, in Londonderry, Vermont, I came across a deal they were offering.

This deal involved buying a membership card for $149 and every time you came to the mountain, your lift ticket would cost what it did in the eighties:’ $29. My mind was blown. Lift tickets used to only cost $29? How on earth in a matter of 30 or so years have prices shot up from $29 to $100+ per day?

I’ve got a bone to pick with the snow sport industry. Why does it cost an arm and a leg just to shred down a mountain that is covered in free snow? That’s right, these resorts don’t have to pay for real powder, nope, good ole’ Mother Nature doles it out for free, and yet I still have to fork over $100+ dollars to get from point A to point B.

With this outrageous price comes a certain clientele. Each time I pull into the mountain parking lot, I am met with a sea of Mercedes, Range Rovers, Audis, and a sprinkling of Subaru’s to bring everyone back down to earth. I used to think it was a silly stereotype, that skiing was for the rich. However, over the years, this stereotype has becomea reality.

According to a 2014 report by the National Ski Areas Association, NSAA, the percentage of visitors with a household income of $100,000 or more rose from 45 percent in 2006-2007 to 58 percent in the 2014-2015 season. Not only that, but the percentage of visitors earning less than $50,000 per year dropped from 30 percent to 18 percent over the same period.

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MMA: A Weigh-in

default article imageTwenty-six-year-old MMA fighter, Leandro Souza, passed out in a sauna and died the day before his weigh-in for his fight in Rio de Janeiro.  Souza had been asked to fight on short notice and needed to drop 33 pounds in just one week. The young fighter almost accomplished this and he did so by taking extreme diuretics and dehydrating himself to the max. Souza was in the sauna trying to shed his final two pounds before being found dead.

This isn’t atypical for fighters, both men and women. The world of fighting is so competitive that the athletes will do anything within the rule set to gain even the slightest advantage. But, why? What drives these humans to go to such extreme measures all for one fight? The answer to that question is simple: money. According to MMA Fighting’s website, each fighter is threatened with giving up twenty percent of their winnings to their competitor if they do not make weight. Fighters will attempt to drop extreme amounts of weight in order to avoid this, as seen in Souza’s cause of death.

This issue is rising to the surface and a lot of people involved in the MMA are calling for the addition of more weight classes. By adding more weight classes, it gives fighters more opportunity to fight at their optimal weight and eliminate weight cutting altogether.

The process of weight cutting exposes these athletes to many health risks, as you can imagine. Some of the main concerns are kidney failure, heat stroke, and seizures due to extreme dehydration. Even if the fighter makes weight and is able to enter the cage, the fight may not be what puts them in danger, it may be their own health. 

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Finding a Furry Friend

Furry FriendI walk through the door and am immediately greeted by a lick and a welcome home bark.

 The love I feel radiating from my dog Dylan’s eyes is a love in which I hope everyone finds themselves one day. Dylan is a pure-bred Labrador retriever with golden fur, which you can definitely spot on all of my clothes because she sheds like crazy. I always heard the phrase “adopt don’t shop” but I never fully understood what that meant until Dylan came into my life.

Dylan came into our lives almost like a miracle. My family had just lost the dog I grew up with, which was also a Lab. Distraught over the loss of our dog, whom was a part of our family, my mom got a call from one of her friends.

A year-old yellow lab was being sent to a shelter whom was known for euthanizing dogs. Fortunately, my mom’s friend knew we were dog lovers and she called right away. Dylan showed up and my family immediately fell in love.

One of the many misconceptions is that adopted dogs are all mutts. I have firsthand experience that all types of dogs need to be adopted including pure bred. There are millions of dogs waiting in shelters to be adopted. The cost of adopting a dog is near to nothing, and the relationship with your pet lasts a life time.

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Lovely Leaves

Lovely LeavesWhenever people talk about what their favorite season is, I get a few weird looks when I say Fall. Not only does my birthday fall around this time (Oct. 15), but it’s the start of the holiday season. What I love most about the Fall though is the way the leaves on the trees transform into gorgeous shades of yellow, orange and red.

Nothing beats the scenery of driving down Route 18 in the middle of November and watching all the different vibrant colors popping out at you. I remember when I was little I used to love looking out my window and being able to pick out all of the different colors rushing by. Maybe it’s because I love art so much that the colors the leaves have to show off is just about the coolest thing that Mother nature has to offer us. 

Being a student at Monmouth University, you’re always told that the campus is beautiful. Sure, the flowers in Erlanger Garden can’t be rivaled by any other Spring scenery, but have you ever stopped to look at the trees during the Fall? I don’t think I’ve ever seen such brightly colored leaves until I came to Monmouth. It’s really tempting to have an entire nature photoshoot on the way to class, but if I end up being late, I don’t think my professors would appreciate the excuse that the leaves were too pretty.

Some people may believe that the leaves are more just a nuisance than anything else. After all, once they’re done showing off on the tree branches, they do end up falling on the ground. We all know Monmouth; someone is responsible for cleaning up all the leaves littering the ground. I can see how it can be a bit of a pain to rake up these little pieces of nature, but at the end of the day, aren’t you appreciative of the scenery they provided you with while they were still in their prime?

A lot of girls my age have their dream weddings planned to a tee. From the dress to the ring and flowers, Pinterest boards everywhere are full of fairytale wedding plans. I’ve surprisingly never been one of these girls to plan my wedding that extensively, but I do know I want a Fall wedding.

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Present Sense

default article imageGrowing up as the youngest of five prevented me from ever being a big sister. With that being said, I never really had the opportunity to watch a child grow or become exposed to things for the first time. Luckily, I have been blessed with three nieces and a nephew, all of them under the age of ten. This has given me a new perspective on life. All four of them experience each moment fully. There is no worrying about the future or contemplating the past because they are so young and innocent.

As we grow up and experience both positive and negative situations, we begin to lose some of our innocence. Things aren’t as exciting and gratitude for the little things in life may lessen; completely normal. But, it’s important to realize that if we completely lose touch with the present moment, then we can completely lose touch with ourselves and what makes us feel happy.

At our age, the past and the future is what consumes most of our thoughts. Whether it was your freshman year that ruined your GPA or your worries about what homework is due next week, we are constantly looking for the answers to the never ending “what if’s” that our mind tortures us with. It doesn’t help that our phones have become an extension of ourselves and most of us can’t even go through a class period without looking at what is going on somewhere else, myself included.

But what we don’t realize is that what we are doing is escaping the present moment. We’ve allowed ourselves to ruminate in our own minds over things that we cannot control. Unlike children, we have created an intangible world with our thoughts and experiences which can create anxiety and stress. According to Garden of Life, the percentage of millennials diagnosed with anxiety has doubled from the baby boomer generation. I feel a large portion of this is due to our inability to stay grounded and present.

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Weekend Escapes

default article imageDo you ever feel like you need to get away and just escape all the realties of the world?

Whether it is the piles of work that seem to never get smaller, no matter how much work you are doing, or the drama in your social circle; getting away is a good thing.

For me my escape is home. Home is Baltimore, Maryland, which is about a three-and-a-half-hour drive. It was important to find a school that was within driving distance to my house because for me family is everything.

However, going home does not always have to be the final destination of weekend getaways. When people think of vacations they often think of lavish trips that are almost unaffordable especially to college students. Think of different activities that make you happy. If hiking is something you enjoy look up local trails near campus.

At Monmouth University we are lucky that the beach is within a mile from campus. When you are feeling stressed, try walking along the ocean side just listening to the waves as they crash on the sand.

Stress is a very real feeling. Especially being in college we all feel the pressure to constantly perform. Whether it is in the classroom or socially there are always expectations that we feel need to be met. According to the article Health Benefits of Weekend Getaways researchers from the University of Illinois found that taking breaks such as a weekend get away can help to improve productivity and focus in the long run. This “always on the go” mentality that has been engrained in our brains since we were little can help to hinder our mental health.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151